At some point there was a wedding song that said “ Tswayang le bone ngwana o tshwana le lekhalate”, loosely translated to: “Come out and see the beautiful girl that looks like she’s coloured”, to refer to the bride.
However this was changed during the late 1980s, the “coloured” reference becoming a “star”.
RECENTLY, I watched an episode of “Don’t tell the bride”, the BBC reality TV series where a couple get money to spend on their wedding, with the groom responsible for organising every detail, and surprising the bride while at it.
In this particular show, the groom, a black man of Ghanaian heritage, was marrying a white woman of Irish descent. During the ceremony the groom and his groomsmen performed a surprise routine for the bride: they danced the Irish stepdance to symbolise that the groom was heartily embracing his new wife and her culture. Then the following question came to mind: Why is that when a black man marries a woman of a different race, he accepts her for who she is as a person, and even goes as far as adopting aspects of her culture as a part of his newly formed identity, but when he marries a black woman he expects her to become a totally different person from the woman he courted at the beginning of the relationship, so much so that he would even subjugate her and break her spirit, in the name of making her a “traditional and a good African wife”?
Maybe it is time that we reevaluated our cultural practices, and left behind those that make us feel imprisoned, and retained those that make us proud of who we are as a people.
Perhaps this way, the black man can truly be progressive and feel free to love whoever he chooses, whether a white or black woman, and treat her with the same amount of respect and admiration.
Growing up under the principles of the “Black Consciousness Movement”, I knew that black is beautiful without a doubt, and spoke out in support of this.
If a man was wealthy enough he stood himself a good chance of marrying a (a coloured woman) and this would earn him higher status amongst his family, peers and his wider community.